Tuesday

19th Oct 2021

Russia gives EU six months extra on air passenger law

  • Russia assured the EU that its security services will not do anything untoward with the data (Photo: Wikipedia)

Europeans can still fly to Russia, or over it, from Monday (1 July) without airlines giving their private data to Russian security services.

Under Russia's new Passenger Name Record (PNR) law, EU airlines as of next week have to hand over sensitive information, such as passengers' credit card details, or face landing and overflight bans.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

But if the airlines comply, they would fall foul of EU data protection rules because the Union has no legal framework for PNR exchange with Moscow.

The legal stalemate risked seeing tens of thousands of flights grounded.

But a European Commission source told EUobserver on Thursday: "The Russian side has ensured that the order will not apply to traffic between the EU and Russia until beginning 2014."

The postponement comes after a meeting between EU officials and Russian counterparts in Moscow on 21 June.

Officials from the Russian transport ministry also met with the Association of European Airlines (AEA), a Brussels-based trade body, in the EU capital earlier this week.

Viktoria Vajnai, an AEA spokeswoman, told this website: "As far as we're informed, there won't be any legal consequences if one of our companies does not transfer the required data to the Russians. This is a transitional period until the end of the year."

She added: "The European Commission understands the seriousness of the problem and we see that the Russian federation is willing to start negotiations to find a solution."

The Russian mission to the EU could not immediately comment.

But it said on its website on Wednesday the 21 June talks were "constructive and productive" and "the parties agreed to continue their dialogue."

It noted that it had "assured" the EU delegation that people's data will be protected by "relevant Russian legislation."

According to the commission, the situation arose because Russia failed to send official notification on the PNR law in time.

But Russia notes that the full text of the legislation has been public for almost a year.

The PNR spat comes amid parallel talks on an EU-Russia visa facilitation deal, with Russia keen for the EU to let its officials, or "service passport" holders, enter the Union visa free.

The commission source said Brussels did not give Moscow anything in return for the PNR suspension, however.

Vietnam jails journalist critical of EU trade deal

A journalist who had demanded the EU postpone its trade deal with Vietnam until human rights improved has been sentenced to 15 years in jail. The EU Commission says it first needs to conduct a detailed analysis before responding.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew report reveals bad environmental habits
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersImproving the integration of young refugees
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNATO Secretary General guest at the Session of the Nordic Council
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCan you love whoever you want in care homes?
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals

Latest News

  1. EU lags behind on 'military ambition'
  2. Let us help protect EU funds in Balkans, NGOs say
  3. Snubbed and hated: How Slovenia's Janša treated MEPs
  4. EU leaders meet This WEEK amid EU-Poland clash
  5. MEPs urge Sassoli to sue EU Commission on rule of law
  6. MEPs seek EU law on bogus anti-media litigation
  7. Africa seeks EU help on global vaccine-waiver
  8. Giant of 20th century European design recognised by EU

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us